Family Of 11 Year-Old Drag Kid 'Desmond Is Amazing' Respond To Child Abuse Allegations

The family of drag performer Desmond Napoles took to Instagram to show a series of letters they received from Child Protective Services.

Close-up of drag performer Desmond Napoles wearing colourful make up and frills
Image: Instagram

Since his rise to fame, drag kid Desmond Napoles – known by his stage name ‘Desmond Is Amazing‘ – has sparked controversy.

Just two months ago, Desmond’s mother shared a post on Instagram after some articles emerged claiming the 11 year-old drag performer was being exploited and danced ‘half-naked’ like a ‘stripper’.

 

View this post on Instagram

Hi, it's mom. I can't believe I have to type this. Articles have been coming out claiming that my son danced half naked and stripped in a sleazy gay bar for grown men who threw dollars at him and is being exploited and forced to perform. THIS IS NOTHING MORE THAN BLATANT HOMOPHOBIA and display of the grossly outdated belief that gay men are pedophiles. The truth is, Desmond is a professional drag performer. No one forces him to perform, performing is what he loves to do and has always loved to do. He was a ballet dancer for four years and is currently earning an A+ grade in drama at his school. He is extremely talented in his celebrity and character impersonations. His costumes are less revealing than a dancer's or cheerleader's uniform, and are always age appropriate. While he dances, he does not move in a sexual manner. He often collects tips, as drag queens sometimes do, which we allow him to keep and he uses to buy clothing and the toy trains he wants. His engagements are contracted and booked by his management agency. All of his performances are conducted in accordance with the Dept of Labor's regulations for child performers. Desmond is never allowed into the bar area of any club, nor the main floor. He stays backstage with me, in the dressing room, or on stage only. It must be noted, however, that it is not illegal in NYC for a minor to be in an establishment that serves alcohol as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Desmond was the sole performer for the event at the center of this controversy and he performed 3 numbers. The venue took measures to make sure it would be age appropriate and audience members that attended were respectful and in good conduct. The performance was promoted and anyone who did not wish to see a drag kid perform in a club did not have to attend. No one forced you to go. I know a lot of drag fans/drag queens do not want to see kids in what they consider an adult form of entertainment or venue, but drag is changing and becoming more widespread and popular with people of all ages, genders, identities, races, abilities, and disabilities. Instead of tearing drag kids down, why not mentor them? They are the future of drag.

A post shared by Desmond is Amazing (@desmondisamazing) on

Following the controversy and media attention, the family were accused of child abuse and maltreatment.

Desmond’s mother took to Instagram to respond to the accusation by showing a series of letters she received from the NYC Administration for Child Services (ACS) and Child Protective Services (CPS).

“This is what it has come to. We have been accused of child abuse, exploitation and maltreatment to the point that we have been backed into a corner trying to defend ourselves.

“Recently a YouTube video was made stating that we should allow ACS (CPS) to investigate if we have nothing to hide. Which we have and we do not have anything to hide. We have been under a microscope since early December. I never thought I would have to breach my own privacy and confidentiality to provide proof that has been demanded of us out of malice.”

 

View this post on Instagram

This is what it has come to. We have been accused of child abuse, exploitation & maltreatment to the point that we have been backed into a corner trying to defend ourselves. Recently a YouTube video was made stating that we should allow ACS (CPS) to investigate if we have nothing to hide. Which we have & we do not have anything to hide. We have been under a microscope since early December. I never thought I would have to breach my own privacy & confidentiality to provide proof that has been demanded of us out of malice . . ACS has investigated us thoroughly. Because of the number of reports they received, our case went all the way to the Governor's office. We had announced visits & unannounced visits to our home nearly daily & at all hours & Desmond's school. Our family was probed more intensely than any other case before. All allegations were "unfounded". Currently, we send screenshots of anyone encouraging others or admitting to contacting ACS to ACS to keep in our file. ACS is not a weapon. So many ACS resources could have gone to families that needed help. On the plus side, ACS has been offering us many support services . . In addition, we were investigated by the NYPD, the Child Advocacy Center, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Department of Labor, and the District Attorney's office. No abuse or maltreatment was found. No regulations for child performers were broken. No illegal activity has occurred . . We endured countless posts & videos slandering our family by people who have never contacted us for the truth or watched Desmond's videos where he has spoken for himself. We put up with lies & rumors. We daily clear social media of hateful comments & messages. Someone has been messaging Desmond's followers to convince them of alleged abuse. We deal with hate crimes & death threats perpetuated by "concerned citizens" & have been stalked. The NYPD is assisting us. Desmond has extra security measures in place at his school. All of this because we allow Desmond to be himself & do what he loves. We are a loving and supporting family. Anyone who knows us or met us can attest to that . . ** Covered address & case numbers for privacy **

A post shared by Desmond is Amazing (@desmondisamazing) on

The post continues, describing the numerous visits by CPS and ACS that their family was subjected to.

“ACS has investigated us thoroughly. Because of the number of reports they received, our case went all the way to the Governor’s office. We had announced visits and unannounced visits to our home nearly daily and at all hours and Desmond’s school. Our family was probed more intensely than any other case before. All allegations were ‘unfounded’.

“Currently, we send screenshots of anyone encouraging others or admitting to contacting ACS to ACS to keep in our file. ACS is not a weapon. So many ACS resources could have gone to families that needed help. On the plus side, ACS has been offering us many support services.

“In addition, we were investigated by the NYPD, the Child Advocacy Center, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Department of Labor, and the District Attorney’s office. No abuse or maltreatment was found, no regulations for child performers were broken, no illegal activity has occurred.”

 

The post concludes detailing the online harassment the family has endured since Desmond rose to fame on social media.

“We endured countless posts and videos slandering our family by people who have never contacted us for the truth or watched Desmond’s videos where he has spoken for himself. We put up with lies and rumors. We daily clear social media of hateful comments and messages. Someone has been messaging Desmond’s followers to convince them of alleged abuse. We deal with hate crimes and death threats perpetuated by ‘concerned citizens’ and have been stalked. The NYPD is assisting us. Desmond has extra security measures in place at his school. All of this because we allow Desmond to be himself and do what he loves. We are a loving and supporting family. Anyone who knows us or met us can attest to that.”

The day after the family shared the post, Desmond himself posted a video where he defended his family.

“They are not forcing me,” he says, “This is what I wanted to do, and this is what I always want to do for the rest of my life.

“Just making the world a fabulous place and a fierce place.”

 

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